7 Best CPUs for RX 6800 of 2021

AMD has launched the highly anticipated series of RDNA 2 graphics cards and we’re all excited about their performance. Until recently Nvidia held the crown as king of high-end GPUs, but now we finally have an alternative with the RX 6000s series. The RX 6800 is particularly interesting as it’s the “entry-level” GPU in AMD’s new series, despite the fact it manages to push 60 frames per second in a 4K in many games. Of course, to get to that impressive performance, you need to pair it with a good processor. Therefore, we have reviewed the best CPUs for RX 6800.

The RX 6800 is a powerful GPU. With 16GB of VRAM and a high tensor core count, this graphics card is an excellent choice for a variety of computational tasks and for rendering. But again, to get all the value we can from it, we also need the right processor to avoid bottlenecking. Balancing out the RX 6800 with an equally well-performing CPU will yield great results. So let’s go through this list of CPUs and analyze their specs and features to find out what suits you best.

1AMD Ryzen 5 5600X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 6 / 12 | Base Frequency: 3.7GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.6GHz | TDP: 65W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm architecture
  • 35MB total cache
  • Wraith Prism Cooler with Razer Chroma support included
  • AMD Ryzen Master Utility
  • AMD StoreMI technology

The RX 6800 isn’t the only exciting launch coming from AMD. The next-gen Zen 3 processors had an equally exciting launch thanks to the massive performance boost the new architecture brings. So it’s only natural to match a Zen 3 processor like the Ryzen 5 5600X with the RX 6800.

This 6-core / 12-thread computer processor has a 3,7 GHz base clock that can be pushed up to an impressive 4.6 GHz. You’ll probably notice that it’s in fact similar to its predecessor, the 3600X, but due to the new Zen 3 architecture, we can squeeze out another 200MHz. In addition, the power requirement has decreased compared to the old generation, so we can be a bit more conservative with the power supply.

As for its features, the most notable one for an RX 6800 build is the PCIe 4.0 support. Since the new 6000 series have this support built-in, we can take advantage of it only if the processor also supports it. This aspect is particularly important for those of us who are looking to future-proof our PC build because games and software will gradually start taking advantage of this new feature.

All in all, the Ryzen 5 5600X is a powerful and versatile CPU that doesn’t break the bank. It’s a solid choice for 4K gaming setups, as well as for a variety of computational tasks.

2AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.8GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.7GHz | TDP: 105W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm architecture
  • 36MB total cache
  • AMD StoreMI technology
  • AMD Ryzen Master Utility

The Ryzen 7 5800X is probably the most perfectly balanced CPU out there. For the next few years, most gamers won’t truly need a processor that has more than 8 cores and 16 threads. This includes 4K gaming builds as well. Even multitasking that benefits from multi-threaded processing is going to be efficient enough due to the 16 threads and the upgraded IPC (number of tasks processed / cycle). In other words, the 5800X is the sweet spot, especially when combined with the RX 6800.

As with the rest of the Ryzen 3 line of CPUs, this one also offers PCIe 4.0 support. And if you have a motherboard that supports AMD’s StoreMi technology, you’ll be able to give your storage system and data integrity a boost using the 5800X. However, compared to the 5600X, this processor requires a bit more power so make sure you take that into account if you can decide between the two.

The Ryzen 7 5800X is becoming a mainstream processor because it offers the best performance per dollar, especially when combined with an affordable but powerful GPU like the RX 6800.

3AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 3 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 12 / 24 | Base Frequency: 3.7GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.8GHz | TDP: 105W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm architecture
  • 70MB total cache
  • AMD StoreMI technology
  • AMD Ryzen Master Utility

If you aren’t heavily restricted by a budget you should consider investing in the Ryzen 9 5900X. This Zen 3 gem is made for high-end gaming as well as for serious computation tasks. With 12 impressive cores that can be boosted up to 4.8GHz, this CPU blows most processors out of the water. In addition, it has a whopping 70MB cache (L2 and L3), and despite all of these stats it still requires only 105W of power.

Combined with the RX 6800, you’ll have a high-end system that can serve you for years. This CPU benefits from the same features as the rest of the Zen 3 lineup, including PCIe 4.0 support and StoreMI which will positively impact your data transfer and integrity. Just keep in mind that you need an equally capable motherboard that offers the same support. Many PC building enthusiasts spend their budget on high-end CPUs and GPUs and skimp on the motherboard, as well as the power supply. Don’t do that if you want to have a future-proof system that can take advantage of all the modern features and enhancements that come with it.

4AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 2 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 12 / 24 | Base Frequency: 3.8GHz | Top Boost Frequency: 4.60GHz | TDP: 105W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm technology
  • 70MB total cache size
  • Wraith Prism Cooler with Razer Chroma support included

Even though the new Zen 3 series of CPUs is out that doesn’t mean the Zen 2 chips are obsolete. On the contrary! They’re still perfectly valid choices and in fact, some of them are already equipped with next-gen features. The Ryzen 9 3900X is one such example.

This high-end CPU may be outgunned by its bigger brother, the 5900X, but it’s still one of the best pieces of hardware you can combine with the RX 6800. With 12 cores / 24 threads that you can boost up to 4.6GHz, this processor can do pretty much anything whether you’re a hardcore gamer, programmer, or 3D modeler. It can even be installed in a future-proof system because it offers PCIe 4.0 support. AMD introduced this feature early on, so now is especially the right time to buy Zen 2 processors. They’re powerful and as feature-rich as the Zen 3 CPUs, but they come at a lower price.

The 3900X performs impressively well in 4K gaming rigs and due to the high thread count, it performs just as well at multi-threaded tasks. However, it’s not quite as impressive when it comes to single-core performance, and that matters if you’re a serious gamer. Fortunately, that’s gradually changing and more and more games are designed to take advantage of multiple cores. So it may not be a bad idea to invest early in a CPU with a lot of cores.

In essence, the 3900X is still a powerful processor worth getting despite the launch of the new Zen 3 series and it’s even better when combined with an AMD graphics card like the RX 6800X.

5Intel Core i7-10700K

Specifications:
Architecture: Comet Lake | Socket: LGA 1200 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.8 GHz | Boost Frequency: 5.10 GHz | TDP: 125W
Key features:
  • Overclockable up to 5.1 GHz using Turbo Boost Max 3.0
  • Hyper-Threading technology
  • New overclocking controls
  • Intel Optane Memory support

While the spotlight is nowadays on AMD, Intel still provides us with a few solid options, even when combined with the RX 6800. The i7-10700K is one of them. First of all, this processor is almost as powerful as i9-9900K, which is more expensive. And secondly, the base clock sits at 3.8GHz, which is slightly above what most CPUs have to offer. But what’s truly impressive about this CPU is the 5.1GHz boost frequency. Intel excels at overclocking their processors and pushing them to the limit. However, to take advantage of that much raw power you’re going to need to invest into a top of the line cooling system and a power supply that matches it. At a 5.1 GHz frequency, the CPU will generate a lot of heat and no stock cooler is going to handle it.

While the i7-10700K is certainly impressive it has a major downside when it comes to future-proofing. As mentioned earlier, the RX 6800 comes with PCIe 4.0 support. But that means nothing if the processor and motherboard don’t offer the same support. Intel is lagging behind with this feature as this i7 only supports the PCIe 3.0 interface. If that’s a problem and you truly want to take advantage of the RX 6800’s features, you’ll have to wait for Intel’s next-gen CPUs that are supposed to arrive in 2021.

6AMD Ryzen 7 3700X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 2 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 8 / 16 | Base Frequency: 3.6GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.40 GHz | TDP: 65W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm technology
  • 36MB GameCache memory
  • Wraith Prism Cooler with Razer Chroma support included

If you’re on a tight budget, the former mainstream Zen 2 processors might be right up your alley. The Ryzen 7 3700X is an excellent processor that will not hold back the RX 6800. Even though it’s an old generation CPU, it comes with PCIe 4.0 support and can even handle 4K gaming since most of the work is done by the GPU anyway. In other words, it’s a cheap processor that packs a punch.

Having 8 cores and 16 threads like the 3700X does is ideal for most setups. Furthermore, it has a small power requirement which will allow you to save more money when buying a power supply. If you’re doing a full upgrade while on a budget, it’s easy to fall for the best processor you can afford without considering the rest of the hardware that needs to support it. But with a low requirement of 65W, you can fit this CPU into a lot of setups.

All in all, the 3700X is ideal if you’re the average gamer/multitasker. It comes with AMD’s array of features that are also integrated into the new-gen Zen 3 line of CPUs, and it provides plenty of power for 1440p gaming and even 4K gaming (depending on the game).

7AMD Ryzen 5 3600X

Specifications:
Architecture: Zen 2 | Socket: AM4 | Cores/Threads: 6 / 12 | Base Frequency: 3.8GHz | Boost Frequency: 4.4GHz | TDP: 95W
Key features:
  • PCIe 4.0 support
  • 7nm technology
  • 35MB GameCache memory
  • Wraith Prism Cooler with Razer Chroma support included

If you’re absolutely restricted by your budget and you don’t care much about 4K gaming, you don’t really need anything more than the Ryzen 5 3600X. This 6 core processor is still a great option, despite the Zen 3 line up. Most games don’t really need more than a 6 core processor and 4.4GHz of processing power. Some games will even run fine in 4K resolution because the RX 6800 will do most of the work. The 3600X is only lacking when it comes to complex computing tasks. So if you’re a data scientist by any chance, you should look for processors with more cores and threads. Games don’t fully take advantage of processors with a high core count. Most of them benefit from the single-core processing power. So for a couple more years, your system should easily handle most games., especially with a powerful GPU like the RX 6800 at the helm.

Final Thoughts

The RX 6800 is an impressive graphics card that introduces us to AMD’s new line of RDNA 2 GPUs. But to unlock all of its power and next-gen feature we need to use a suitable CPU. Without the right processor, we can easily end up with a bottlenecked system and everyone should avoid that. But in the end, it all depends on what you want out of your PC build. Are you looking for high-end 4K gaming? Are you heavily into machine learning or 3D modeling? Depending on your answer, you have to pick what’s best for you. Choose whatever suits your budget and your goals.

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